Very happy to report that after last Tuesday's freakish allergic reaction, I went and ran 3 more times that week without incident (but also not without my epi-pen and phone). The first time I went out, I took it easy and ran nice and slow. The second time, I ran the first mile slow, the middle 2 miles faster, and the final mile slow.
The third time I ran was on Friday, and the warm, humid air we'd been having had cleared out, and it was a gorgeous, cool, comfortable morning. I headed out, planning on 8 or 9 miles, at whatever pace felt comfortable. For mile 1, it was 8:30. Mile 2 - 8:01. Miles 3 and 4 - 8:00. Mile 5 - 7:59.
I felt like maybe I should slow down, since this was going to be my long run for the week, which I usually like to run at a slower pace. But my legs just didn't want any part of slowing down. So the negative splits continued, until I ended at mile 9 with an overall average pace of 7:58.
And I ran the entire thing without my iPod, just savoring the fresh air and the scenery and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. It was one of those runs where you actually wish you could keep going. And if I didn't have to get back to Carmine, I would have kept going for at least a few more miles.
It also felt like a redemption of sorts. After my body so blatantly revolted after my run last Tuesday, it was nice to feel like it was cooperating again.
Hopefully it continues to cooperate, because summer races are right around the corner!
I'll be back at the track tomorrow morning for more speedwork - getting ready for the Matty Siravo 5K this weekend. This is one of my favorite races of the season. I always think of it as the kickoff to all my summer races, and it's not a terribly competitive race, so I've been able several times to win my age group, which is always fun.
But the best part is that we all go together, so the boys can do the kids' races and get their t-shirts and medals. They have so much fun, and it's always so great to see them out there. And I'm hoping that this year I see some kids from the Compass Running Club, too.
After that, it'll be time to really start focusing on getting ready for the next Triple Crown race in Jamestown. I'm excited to run a race in an area that's completely new to me. And I'm excited to race a half again. Pacing my friend at the Cox half was a wonderful experience, but now I'm anxious to see what I can do at that distance on my own. And it'll be a great indicator of what I can expect at the Blessing later in the month.
I don't have an actual training plan in mind for this race, but I'll definitely be continuing with speedwork for the next few weeks, and will start adding in some longer tempo runs, too. And I've been keeping my long runs right around 10 miles, but I think I'll bump them up to 12 or 13 in the weeks leading up to the race - maybe even try to get in one 14-miler.
And after Jamestown, I think I will put together an actual plan to follow for the Newport half in October. That's where I'm really hoping for a big PR, so I need to be a little less haphazard about how I train for it.
But for July, I'm looking for a mix of fun and fast. It's a delicate balance, because running fast for 13.1 miles (especially in the heat of summer) is often a decidedly not fun thing to do, but I'm hoping I can strike that balance, have a good race, and enjoy myself. Hoping to meet up with some of the other Triple Crown bloggers before or after the race, too - anyone who's interested, leave a comment, and maybe we can plan something!
To wrap things up, a Gabe anectdote that I am still laughing about, several days after he said it -
We were discussing what types of things we'll put on our 'Summer Fun List' this year, and Gabe chimed in that he wanted to go to Block Island, so that we could go on the ferry - "you know, Mommy, the boat with all the waterslides and the big pool!"
Poor kid was confusing the Block Island Ferry with Disney Cruise Lines. I'm glad I was able to set him straight before we actually arrived at the ferry dock some morning this summer. That would have been a disappointment of epic proportions.
I did point out to him, though, that even though the ferry is nothing special, the island itself definitely is - and if not for that island (where Scott and I met) he wouldn't exist, so it's particularly special for him!